120 breakfast recipes to choose from

I know.  We’ve read about it for years: breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day.  So here at The Inn On First, a luxury Napa bed and breakfast inn, we take it seriously.  Today we have over 120 recipes that we utilize over the course of one year.  We keep track of when you visit, what you eat for breakfast, and ensure you don’t get served the same dish again.  It is our way of keeping you excited for what is about to be presented to you each morning, no matter how often you visit us.

Corndog Omelet-103   Birds Nest-113

It is also a way for Chef Jim Gunther not to get bored or complacent. His goal is to develop a minimum of 250 recipes before he retires.  He’s hoping for another ten years to work at it and thinks he can achieve that goal.  For Jim, it is a very Zen-like experience- you eat, you enjoy, you let it go. Something new is coming your way the next time.  “Knowing you get to eat this breakfast but once helps the guest to savor what is present to them today,” Jim stated.  “And in case you didn’t really enjoy that particular breakfast,” he added playfully, “you’ll never see it again.”

Sushi Om-170 Hot Dog Omelet-154 Cheese Consomme-135-1



So what are some of the more recent creations that have come out of The Inn On First’s kitchen?  Cheese Consomme with Roasted Potatoes and Poached Egg, Corndog omelets, Argentinian Arepas with Eggs in Chipotle Cream Sauce, Macaroni and Cheese, and S’mores French Toast are a few of the items you can expect to enjoy this year.  The key to the inn’s success?  Everything is made from scratch: from macaroni noodles, to the graham cracker bread Jim created for French Toast.  Using fresh, organic, and locally grown ingredients, the focus is on cooking seasonally and creating recipes that have “comfort food” in mind.


Carpe Diem Wine Bar and Restaurant: still producing Grade A innovation and flavor.

Only a ten minute walk from Napa’s luxury Bed and Breakfast Inn, The Inn On First, is Carpe Diem Wine Bar and Restaurant; what we call a “small plates restaurant”, meaning you order to share.  Where else can you be tempted by the daily taco of the day (filet mignon with pomegranate glaze, or shrimp pad thai, or pulled pork with a chipotle sauce, or lamb with pickled slaw- every bite delicious!) that changes all the time according to the chef’s inventiveness and seasonal ingredients.

I’m a fan of their pork steam buns, the short ribs, and their filet mignon with red rice cake.  Yet by the time you get there these may be gone and replaced with some other yummy dish for you to choose.  The fried olives are still a favorite of mine, and the truffled popcorn is downright addictive.  You swear you will stop eating it, and yet your hands keep reaching.  Jamie loved the brussell sprouts flatbread (you know I’m a hater so I don’t touch the stuff!), and the soft housemade burrata with olive oil drizzle and toast points is always fun.

This restaurant is fun, exciting, and always busy, so reservations are a must.  With so many wines by the glass, too, it makes it really interesting to try new wines with these dishes.  We’ve even had guests return two nights in a row just so they could try out other dishes and different wines.  Stephanie and Scott, Owners, Hostess and Chef, make this must-eat stop in Napa.  Oh, and seriously, if they ever take the Twix Bar off the dessert menu I might consider picketing the establishment.

ALEX- upscale Italian comes to Rutherford

A 30 minute drive from The Inn On First, a luxury Bed and Breakfast Inn in Napa, is a lovely restaurant named ALEX.  It is small, intimate, with a very comfortable elegant decor followed up with excellent service and superior food.  We usually don’t go up valley often for dinner unless a particular restaurant is calling for attention.  Alex, a new restaurant in Rutherford, connected to the Rancho Caymus Inn, is worth noting for those who want something more upscale and less crowded (read that quieter) than Bottega (don’t get me wrong, I love Bottega).  I’ll sum it up in one sentence: I enjoyed absolutely every bite!

From the fried vegetable platter with aioli, to the beet and potato gnocchi with gorgonzola cream.  I also was able to snag a spoonful of really delicious broccoli soup, a bite of the housemade burrata with speck, and the farro stew.  Oh my!, and that was just the starters.  We ordered the Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the side for the bread (worth the order) with its fruity flavor.  Then came the roasted rabbit with housemade fettucine (as are all the pastas), the veal and beef ragu with cavatelli, and the grilled octopus salad (love, love, love it), and grilled pork cheeks (yummy!).   The fireplace, the comfortable chairs, the overall setting, and the service, also set this place apart from so many others in the valley.  Quiet, quaint, romantic.

For wine we ordered the Pahlmayer Jayson Chardonnay to start and finished with a lovely Italian red, Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria.  We finished the meal with a semifreddo di torrone, a light frozen whipped cream dessert with coffee.  It was perfect.

Prices range from $12 to $15 for starters and $15 to $30 for main courses.  If you don’t mind the drive and want something really nice and romantic, I would recommend this restaurant.  It’s worth the drive.